Dodgers News: James Outman Shares Book That Helped Him With Mental Side of Baseball
Baseball can be a grueling sport. Everyone who plays the game says it. As a batter, you know you’re going to fail a majority of the time. And there are going to be a lot of big moments where you just aren’t able to come through for your team. That’s one of the many reasons that the mental aspect of the game is so important.
When guys get in slumps, the mental game becomes even bigger. Players struggle to get themselves out, and it becomes even more difficult to be successful in an already difficult sport. That’s why it’s so important for players to be strong both mentally and physically in the game of baseball.
Dodgers rookie James Outman is someone who hasn’t experienced any of those slumps at the major league level just yet. He’s been good ever since he made his debut last season, and hasn’t yet had to deal with too many struggles on the mental side. However, a reason for that may be because he’s so ahead of it.
Outman spoke with Kirsten Watson of SNLA earlier this week, and talked about how he’s been so good at remaining calm and stoic in these big moments. He said that it’s actually because of a book he once read.
“A couple years ago, I read a book called, ‘The Obstacle Is The Way’ by Ryan Holiday,” Outman said, “and it was just talking about stoicism and kind of like turning your trials into learning experiences and ultimately turning them into triumphs. I think that book really like changed my perspective on everything, like life in general. But when I was reading it the whole time it was like, ‘this is baseball.’ Next page it’s like, ‘oh this, this is baseball.’ Next page. ‘This is baseball.’ So I think I applied a lot of what I learned in that to the game.”
Clearly, it’s worked, as Outman has had an incredible start to his MLB career, dating back to his debut last season in which he hit a home run in his first at-bat. And that stoicism has stayed with him all through his impressive spring, when he learned he would be on the Opening Day roster and, now into the season.
Watson asked Outman if he’s able to go back to those things he learned from the book to make them a part of his everyday practices.
“I do my best to try and make them my everyday lifestyle,” Outman said. “I follow one of his pages on Instagram, so I get a little quote or something every day. Sometimes I’ll just scroll right past it. Sometimes I won’t. But you know just having it there, it’s there. And when it catches my eye, I’ll just kind of sit and think about it and I’ll just think about the book and stuff like that.”
Whatever Outman is doing is working, as he’s been one of the Dodgers best players early in the year, and should only get better the more comfortable he gets. But when he ultimately gets in that slump, we’ll see how his mental toughness helps him through it.
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